Seoul, South Korea

The Language of 24 Characters 

 안녕하세요! You are probably wondering what that Korean word means.. The correct answer is hello! Since before my trip to Seoul, I have always been interested in the Korean language. Many people say it is the easiest language spoken in Asia, and from my experience trying it, it is simpler than Chinese or Japanese.

Hangul is the Korean alphabet, which is made up of twenty-four characters. Once written, Hangul looks very aesthetic, because all the characters are stacked up to make words. It is not a difficult language to write, because the letters are basic shapes. When it comes to speaking, I have tried my best pronouncing to avoid misunderstandings. While being in Seoul, not a lot of people speak English. It was pleasant to show effort, even with basic phrases. The locals were happy to see foreigners trying. I remember greeting people in the stores and restaurants. Even one time in a taxi, the driver asked if I spoke fluent Korean, yet I said that I was learning. Residents were genuinely curious and interested in a tourist like me who is fascinated by their culture.

After leaving South Korea, I kept attempting to speak and write. Nowadays, I do self-teaching with apps like Duolingo or similar websites. Luckily, in my school I have met some exchange students who have helped me. I’m glad that I got interested in such a fascinating language, because it is the key to a distinct world. Speaking this awesome language makes me feel joyful. I’m always excited when I chat and translate k-pop songs. Aside from loving the music, I know that if I ever decide to work in South Korea or visit often I will be prepared for the future. Being fluent in a distinct language is a tool that no one can take away from you. Therefore, if you are interested in an exotic Asian language, I hope you consider Korean. Annyeong!

Amanda Esquivel